safty cabs

Re: safty cabs

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:35 pm

Hmmm, what if Europeans don't feel the need for safety cabs due to the locos having buffers? Maybe buffers are a cheap solution that is good enough?
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Re: safty cabs

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:38 pm

Also, other than the high speed passenger trains where speed is a big issue, European trains are 'smaller' so there is less energy to be dissipated in the event of a collision. By smaller I mean I haven't seen any pics of a European train having 3 - 5 locos and 70 - 100 wagons.

So ultimately the forces involved may be different enough that a safety cab is needed in the US but not in Europe.
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Re: safty cabs

Postby Markus » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:53 am

Well, the buffers have a completely different function. The need for buffers comes from the couplings! Most European railway stock have a kind of hook coupling (local trains and semi permanent train sets usually have different couplings), and without the buffers it would be impossible to push the wagons!
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Re: safty cabs

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:41 am

Hmmm, true ^^
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Re: safty cabs

Postby Rich B » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:52 pm

In the case of modern carbody design European locomotives, the cab itself forms a crumple zone. After hitting the emergency brake (often a big red button!), the driver is expected to enter the engine/equipment compartment. The cab absorbs the energies of the impact, allowing the engine compartment to stay intact. This is, of course, not possible on hood designs, so I wonder where this leaves designs such as the Blue Tiger, G2000 and British Rail class 58.
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Re: safty cabs

Postby scaro » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:36 am

ConducTTor wrote:Also, other than the high speed passenger trains where speed is a big issue, European trains are 'smaller' so there is less energy to be dissipated in the event of a collision. By smaller I mean I haven't seen any pics of a European train having 3 - 5 locos and 70 - 100 wagons.

So ultimately the forces involved may be different enough that a safety cab is needed in the US but not in Europe.


True, but perhaps trains here are getting heavier and longer. At my local station, Maryland (coincidentally one of the few places in the UK named for an American location) British operating practice, while still a long way from the tonnages in the US, appears to be reminiscent of Australian practice of the 1980s, ie, boxcab export GMs (essentially cut down SD40-2s) with hefty rakes of container flats. The trains are surprisingly long and do move fast, albeit it's usually single locos, lashups don't occur much. With all the fast passenger traffic about, you'd want a freight that's light on its feet and able to get through sections and out of the way quickly, so it makes sense to run smaller and more frequent trains.

I suspect a 66 class isn't going to have anywhere like the protection of an SD90 or whatever those things are called, but there is probably far less call . . . the trains that go through Maryland on the way to the port at Felixstowe travel a well protected route, especially as considerable portions of it are a high speed commuter line.

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Re: safty cabs

Postby AstroGoat760 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:12 am

Part of it may be the fact that there are fewer bigger trucks on the roads in Europe as there are here.

The 18-wheeler is a bit of a standard for trucking here, while in Europe, the typical truck is smaller.

Plus, for the VAST most part, European drivers are not as batshit as many American drivers can be.

A recent example is during the trip from NC to ct, we were traveling through NJ. In one of the towns that we passed through, we were at a railroad crossing followed by a stop light. While the light was red, people were stopping on the railroad tracks, waiting for the light to turn green.

While the light was red and there was insufficent clearance for us to clear the tracks, my wife waited on the far side of the tracks, to keep the line clear if the gates came down, and the light still red.

People were honking their horns and yelling at my wife to move forward. The gal in the car behind us even tried to PUSH us ahead, while the light was still red.

Sure enough, the gates came down, with insufficent clearance ahead.
People in the left lane tried to scurry past the gate, with one actually breaking it, and the gal who tried to push us, backed up and swerved around us, impaling her passenger side front window on the stub of the gate, which was actually pretty funny.

Not as funny as if she was nailed by the train, but still funny nonetheless. I think it is funny when Darwin Goes To Work.

We called the police, who said that it was so regular that they do not bother anymore, and no damage to our car was found, aside from a smudge of black paint applied to our back bumper.

That is the big difference, people in Europe are not as insane....behind the wheel.
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Re: safty cabs

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:44 pm

I'm convinced that mainly we're dealing with very different forces of impact. The pictures I've seen of US locos that have been in an accident and European ones, there is a pretty big difference in the amount of destruction (US locos being worse off).
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Re: safty cabs

Postby AstroGoat760 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:26 pm

Part of that may be the higher speeds that freight trains use here in the US, and the longer trains (more weight) as well.

Throw in my "batshit automotive driver" theory, and that may be the bulk of the reason for the North American crashes being worse off than in Europe.
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Re: safty cabs

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:56 pm

I'm still wondering about this. It seems that only the US and countries who use US exports (or some variant of) have safety cabs. I'm really trying to understand this because it gives a fundamentally different look to locomotives. Maybe some of our newer members know?
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